Cleansing Oil Review: Clinique Take the Day Off

Clinique Take The Day Off was the first cleansing oil I ever tried. I had always wrongly assumed that oils would break me out – but I was pleasantly surprised. Now I can’t imagine not using a cleansing oil. But I needed to investigate both cleansing oils and double cleansing before I could recommend them to my clients.


“Immediately dissolves even tenacious face makeup, oil and impurities. Glides on, rinses off cleanly with water. Leaves no residue. For all skin types. Apply to dry face with fingertips and gently massage, rinse. Ophthalmologist tested.”



  • Dissolves all make-up, sunscreen and eye make-up effectively
  • The pH is no more than 6 according to my pH strip. I just wish Clinque would tell me the exact figure – it is not a state secret!
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Fragrance free


  • Cleansing oils deposit beneficial fatty acids (lipids) on the skin to beef up the barrier, but this ironically contains no oil! This is possibly academic for me because I double cleanse with a facial wash afterwards
  • Those with dry skin might prefer the balm version

What is a cleansing oil?

  • Make up remover
  • Water soluble cleanser, but feels oily
  • Contains emulsifiers so it can be rinsed off

Read more:

Who is a cleansing oil for?

  • Make up wearers
  • Physical sunscreen wearers
  • All skin types, even those with an oily skin!

How does it smell?

No fragrance. Clinique realise that fragrance has no place in skincare. Take note, all brands.

How does it feel?

The texture is light and feels oily even though it doesn’t contain any oil. However, whenever I use the Medik8 cleansing oil, I can immediately tell the difference. The Clinique texture feels far more synthetic-based.

How to use a cleansing oil?

First part of a double cleanse in the evening

Massage into dry skin

  1. First of all I place my hands all over my face for 30 seconds to let the oil dissolve the make-up. I don’t like massaging too much initially because pollution particles are so sharp and can scratch the skin.
  2. Then I really like to knuckle under the jawline and cheekbone to release any toxins.
  3. Splash with water and it will turn into a milky emulsion.
  4. Massage then rinse off.

My experiences

It is incredibly gentle yet effective around the eyes – there is no stinging and I didn’t need to rub whatsoever. It effectively removed powder and physical sunscreen and didn’t break me out! 

Do you need to double cleanse when using a cleansing oil?

Opinion is divided however. Dr Sam Bunting believes that double cleansing is unnecessary, and it probably is if you wear a light foundation. But I have such an oily skin and walk to work along a polluted road every day, so I like to follow cleansing oils, even emulsifying ones, with a low pH facial wash. But the proof is in the pudding. I will have to try her cleanser.

Does double cleansing damage the skin’s barrier?

Chemist confessions were more flexible:’generally it shouldn’t, but you need to listen to your skin. The 2nd step can be a great way to clean off excess oil and grime while minimising additional dryness and irritation. You don’t have to double cleanse every day’, just when there are a few extra layers of sweat, sunscreen, makeup etc. So lets find our balance!

I always ask new clients if their skin feels tight after a shower, because water alone can dry out some skins, especially in a hard water area. In that case I recommend they remove a cleansing oil with a micellar water.

Would I repurchase?

Yes, I always have it as a standby, but I prefer an actual oil.

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